Star set to Stay for TT assault
Merry Star, with consistency very much his forte, is banker material in the second leg of tomorrow night's Happy Valley Triple Trio for which the Jackpot Reserve has been drawn upon to the tune of a mouth-watering $30 million.
The Tony Cruz-trained staying type contests a Class Three 2,200-metre handicap for horses rated 32 to 70. Merry Star comes in at the top end of the scale as he is now assessed to a mark of 65 and only has the 67-rated Fat Choy Together above him in the weights.
Merry Star hardly runs a bad race these days, having taken time to find his feet for Alex Wong Siu-tan. In that first season he used to work like Phar Lap, but then struggle to live up to that work come his races proper.
Last season he was a different kettle of fish altogether, putting in some top efforts for Wong before joining Cruz for whom he has improved and run some solid races, not least at the Valley on his seasonal debut.
He has always shaped like an out-and-out stayer and should improve significantly now he has had a run under his belt and is up in trip. This could be his ideal kind of distance.
Emphasis should get the run of the race from barrier four under razor-sharp Irishman John Egan and is worth taking as a TT leg because of it.
Sea Pearl improved throughout last season and should strip all the fitter for his pipe-opener. He had strong and improving staying form last season and should make a bold attempt to go forward from gate 11 and thus ensure the race is run at a solid tempo.
Brilliant Leader will like the distance as will Time To Surf who looks well at this moment.
The superb Shane Dye teams up with Tremendous Way and this pairing could be ideal.
Everywhere you look there are chances in the sixth event which concludes the TT.
King Of Jewelry shaped promisingly on debut and should go well while Arrectis Auribus is in the form of his life. City Patrol should be suited by the Class Three contest while Hong Kong Stallion is more than capable of mixing it with these on the turf.
Heavy Weapon still looks to be on a fair mark, while watch out for Diamond And Gold who loves the Valley. Zinedine could add value to the tierce now he's back up to a more suitable journey.
The bottom two, Inventor and Harmony Prince, both have sound claims, too.
The third event which opens the TT should see a good run from the Geoff Lane-trained speedster The Most Dauntless. Lane has opted to take 10 pounds from his back via the booking of stable apprentice Way M. W. Leung who is gradually finding his feet.
The other main form chances could prove to be Explosive Power, Merry Merry and Wilful Flight. They all have excellent basic speed.
Of the unraced sorts, it looks significant that Douglas Whyte partners debutant Fun Manager for David Hayes as he could surely have ridden Wilful Flight.
Tony Cruz's first-starter Dynamic Winnings has good early speed but Cyber Wisdom, though drawn well in barrier one, might not be quite ready.